From Shoemaking to Surgery: The Goodness Adeosun Story

by Joseph Omoniyi
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Goodness Taiye Adeosun’s story is one of grit, never-back-down-spirit, and remarkable achievement. A graduate of dental surgery from the prestigious University College Hospital (UCH) in Ibadan, Nigeria, Adeosun is not only a medical professional but also a successful entrepreneur. As the CEO of “Gudie” Footwear, a rapidly growing brand in Nigeria, she has managed to balance the demanding worlds of medicine and business.

Adeosun’s journey to becoming a doctor while running a business is nothing short of extraordinary. “Gudie” Footwear, which started as a hobby, has grown into a national brand despite the rigorous demands of her medical studies. Adeosun’s determination and entrepreneurial spirit have earned her national and international recognition, including interviews with reputable media organizations and recognition by US parliamentary bodies.

Despite her busy schedule, Adeosun finds time for her passions, including music—she plays the guitar, piano, and violin—and advocacy for social justice. Her ultimate goal is to establish a foundation to teach young people the skills and mindset required to become entrepreneurs.

Reflecting on her journey, Adeosun said, “Schooling and running a business at the same time is highly demanding, chaotic even, and my mental health is almost always in the mud. To describe it as stressful would be putting it mildly. It is the business itself that keeps me going. Besides the money, I have found purpose in it. I have come to form a bond of sorts with my customers. It is also important to me to continue to serve them, come what may. It is now something I want to be remembered for, a brand that will outlive me.”

Adeosun’s path was not without significant challenges. She recounted a period when she had a mental breakdown and was admitted to a psychiatric hospital, leading to a temporary halt in her studies and a repeated academic year. “This shoe business gave me hope, something to look forward to, like a light at the end of the tunnel,” she said. “Any time I catch myself contemplating some of my ordeals, and start to feel like a victim, I remind myself about how far I have come with the business and I feel better. It keeps me so busy that there is no time to think about things that make me unhappy, and I am more than grateful for that. It is always one thing or another, but we must keep going.”

Adeosun also spoke candidly about the difficulties of entrepreneurship in Nigeria. “Entrepreneurship in Nigeria is not for the weak, with uncertainty and turbulence from time to time. I don’t think business owners have smooth sailing anywhere in the world, but it seems to be so much tasking here. If you’re not careful, the economic situation can push you over the edge, and you’ll just give it all up. At some point, I contemplated closing the business at least once a week. Those were dark times indeed, but we move.”

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